Military leaders call for end to Tuberville hold

The secretaries joined together in an op-ed in The Washington Post that called out Tuberville for endangering national security and politicizing the military.


“Any claim that holding up the promotions of top officers does not directly damage the military is wrong — plain and simple,” they wrote.


Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said Tuberville’s six-month hold is eroding military readiness.


They also said families are enduring “genuine financial stress” because of the “action of a single senator” blocking more than 300 general and flag officers.


“These military leaders are being forced to endure costly separations from their families,” they said.


When asked about the hold on Tuesday, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder compared the situation to a football game.


“Those acting coaches who come up through the organization are now responsible for not only being the offensive and defensive coordinators, but also acting as the head coach,” Ryder said.


Tuberville — a former football coach — is protesting a Defense Department policy giving paid leave and travel reimbursement for servicemembers who cross state lines for abortion services.


He argues the policy is a violation of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal taxpayer dollars from funding abortion services.


Tuberville has argued his hold is not significantly affecting national security and says Pentagon officials could end the hold by lifting the policy.


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